No fewer than 1, 520 teachers in Kogi State are writing professional examination that would qualify them to be certified as professional teachers.
The State Coordinator, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Zainab Lawal, disclosed this on Friday at the examination venue at YABMA International Science Academy, Lokoja, the state capital.
“We are professionalising qualified teachers who had gone through the pedagogy of either being a NCE holder or B.Ed holder or B.Sc; as the case may be, but had gone through PGD to qualify them as professional teachers.
“In Kogi, we have a total of 1, 520 teachers writing the TRCN Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE). But our server can only take 170 at a time and we split them into two.
“Some are writing today while some would write on Oct. 12.
“As you can see, everything is going on smoothly and everything is under control,” Mr Lawal said.
He said in the past, teachers were registered without writing examination, “but when we go to the field, we found out that our teachers that have been certified, were not professionals”.
“So, it was agreed that for a professional teacher to be certified and licensed to teach in Nigeria, he must go through professional qualified examination.
“We write the examination twice a year in May and October,” she said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, Afolabi Raji, commended the TRCN for the innovation and the conduct of the examination.
“It is quite interesting; we are used to hearing students sitting for examination in which questions are set by the teachers, but now we have teachers themselves being tested, as a way of validating their knowledge.
“Considering that this is a new innovation to test teachers’ knowledge about their job, I will give it a pass mark.
“It is a good one, but there is always room for improvement,” Mr Raji said.
He stressed that the examination was a good way of testing the teachers’ knowledge to be sure that people in the classrooms had the requisite knowledge and the capacity to teach the students.
He commended the TRCN for the good job, but advised the council to conduct the examination more than two times in a year, instead of conducting in in May and October, annually.
This, the chairman said, would enable more teachers to be accommodated in the examination to test their knowledge and capacity.
“Of course, if you do that regularly, within no time, the good teachers who are qualified would be left to teach in the classrooms and those without the requisite knowledge could be shown the way out,” he added.
Some of the teachers, Wuraola Paul and Mohammed Ahmad, who spoke to NAN after writing the test, commended the TRCN for the initiative, saying it was very interesting and not as tough as they had thought.